Hierarchical porous ZnWO4microspheres synthesized by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis: Characterization, mechanistic and photocatalytic NOxremoval studies

Yu Huang, Yunxia Gao, Qian Zhang, Jun Ji Cao, Ru Jin Huang, Wingkei Ho, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Solar-light-driven photocatalysts with porous structure are preferred for gaseous pollutants removal at low concentration levels. In this study, hierarchical porous ZnWO4microspheres were synthesized by a facile ultrasonic spray pyrolysis method for the first time. The as-prepared ZnWO4samples were composed of microspheres with diameter ranging from 0.1 to 2 μm and it was revealed that these microspheres are formed by the self-assembly of nanoparticles. The photocatalytic performances of these microspheres were evaluated by the degradation of gaseous NOxunder simulated solar light irradiation. It was found that the ZnWO4batch synthesized at 700 °C exhibited superior photocatalytic activity to those synthesized at 650 °C and 750 °C as well as Degussa TiO2P25. Both OH and O2-radicals were found to be the major reactive species involved for NOxdegradation as identified by electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR) method, which was consistent with the theoretical analysis. The excellent catalytic activity of ZWO-700 was attributed to its special hierarchical porous structure, which facilitated the separation/diffusion of the photogenerated charge carriers and the diffusion of intermediates and final products of NOxoxidation. The photocatalytic NOxremoval mechanism over ZnWO4samples was also proposed. This study suggests that ultrasonic spray pyrolysis is a facile and scalable process to fabricate ZnWO4porous microspheres which are promising photocatalytic materials for gaseous pollutants purification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-178
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2016


  • Electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR)
  • NO degradation x
  • Photocatalysis
  • Porous ZnWO microsphere 4
  • Ultrasonic spray pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

Cite this